The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Mario Joseph Caramella


IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. - Mario Joseph Caramella, 81, of Bergland, formerly of White Pine, passed away after a courageous battle on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, at Dickinson County Hospital in Iron Mountain, with his family by his side.

He was born on Sept. 27, 1935, in Hancock, the son of the late Mario and Johanna (Scussel) Caramella.

Mario graduated from Houghton High School in 1952, enlisted in the U.S. Army for two years and then attended and graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education. He later returned to NMU and earned his master's degree.

Mario married the former Patricia Marley on Aug. 16, 1958, in Ontonagon. She preceded him in death on Feb. 16, 2016. They made their home in White Pine, where they raised their four children and he taught business classes for the White Pine School District and adult education classes for the Intermediate School District. After retirement, he substitute-taught for many school districts and was interim superintendent for White Pine School District.

He married the former Edna Maki (Grant) on Aug. 28, 1989. She survives.

Mario was a very active member of the community. He was a member of the Lions Club, White Pine American Legion Post 492, St. Jude's Catholic Parish and later St. Ann's Catholic Parish, and the Michigan Association of Retired Schools Personnel, the OCVA and the Lake Gogebic Senior Citizens Inc. Board.

He enjoyed cooking, singing (especially at St. Ann's Catholic Church, where he was in the choir), snowmobiling, bowling, playing softball, hunting at the Jelly Bean Five with his buddies, and gardening. He always had a beautiful yard with gorgeous flowers, gardens with lots of vegetables and delicious tomatoes. He was always generously sharing his "goodies" with family, friends and neighbors. He was a very giving man, always ready to help whoever was in need.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Helen Cummings, of Anchorage, Alaska, and Delphine Hilbert, of Tomahawk, Wis .; brothers-in-law, Wedge Cummings and Robert Hilbert; stepdaughter, Jane (Steve) Wiggins; and granddaughter, Sheila Taylor.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, Michael (Michelle) Caramella, of Austin, Nev., and Patrick Caramella, of Gladstone; daughters, Maria Caramella, of Florence, Wis., and Nicole (Shawn Barnes) Caramella, of Iron Mountain; grandchildren, Alissa, Anna and Emma, and Sara Caramella, Orrin Parker, Nick Dishaw and Kailey Barnes; stepchildren, Brenda (Ron) O'Brien, Don (Colleen) Maki and Ann Maki (Dennis Brown); grandchildren, Chris Taylor, Jim (Jen) and Dan Wiggins, Zach Love, Josh and Caitlyn Maki; and many nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place, at his request. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Bergland on Friday, July 28, at 11 a.m. EDT, with Father Michael Jacobus as celebrant.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church. Military rites will be accorded by the OCVA. A celebration of life will follow at the American Legion in White Pine. Burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery in Houghton.

Range Crematory, Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home of Bessemer is assisting the family with the arrangements. To send online condolences, visit


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